Dutch declaration of independence

The earliest texts in the pamphlet collection date from the sixteenth century, the founding decades of the Dutch Republic. This part of the collection served the Fagels as a historical reference tool, filled with official texts documenting the early struggle of the Dutch state. The pamphlet below, commonly known as the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration), is one of the most important. The act was signed on 26 July 1581 by representatives of several Dutch provinces who declared themselves independent from royal authority. It was, in effect, the Dutch declaration of independence, and would be used as a model by the American rebels in 1776.

The Plakkaat van Verlatinghe was first printed in Leiden by Charles Silvius, the recently-appointed printer of the States. The rebels rapidly turned to the printing press to disseminate their ordinances and reinforce their authority. The USTC has documented 20 editions of the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe printed in 1581, including this unique edition in the Fagel collection, printed in the eastern town of Arnhem by Willem Jansz van Campen, state printer of the province of Gelderland.

Placcaert byden welcken men verklaert den coninck van Spaengien vervallen vande overheyt ende heerschappije van dese voorsz. Nederlanden (S.l., s.n. [Arnhem, Willem Jansz van Campen], 1581), Fag.H.3.8 no.3